The All Progressives Congress has urged the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State to allow citizens and residents to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming governorship election slated for September 19th, without fear of intimidation.
This was contained in a statement titled “APC on Developments in the Edo State House of Assembly,” signed by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja on Friday.
Nabena said the attention of the APC has been drawn to the unfolding political events in the Edo State House of Assembly and was constrained to urge all parties and their proxies to allow peace to reign.
He said, “While we urge our security services to stay vigilant and be guided by the law in its efforts to prevent a breakdown of law and order, we also call on all parties and their proxies to ensure peace and adherence to the rule of law in all their actions.
“Amid the leadership crisis rocking the Edo State House of Assembly, the sudden renovation of the state’s legislative complex purportedly by the state government takes us back to the backward days of Peoples Democratic Party administrations which normalised the desecration of other arms of governments to achieve political ends.”
He further said, “Nigerians will also recall how the PDP introduced the repugnant “16 is greater than 19” political formula.
“By all standards, it is illegal to deny duly elected legislators their constitutional rights to represent their constituencies in government. For the 24-member Edo State House of Assembly, 7 cannot be greater than 17. Those days are gone.“
The APC said the independence of the legislature as an important arm of government must be guaranteed and protected without interference from the executive, partisans, and other non-state actors.
According to the party, the activities of the Edo State government on the State House of Assembly is a brazen assault on our constitution and the rule of law.
“The governorship election in Edo state is forthcoming. The electorate must be allowed to cast their votes peacefully and not under threats of violence by the PDP and the state government.“
However, the PDP speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, also on Friday enjoined security agencies to bring to book those fermenting trouble in the state.
He said the APC has developed an appetite for violence in elections as was exemplified by its choice of the membership of its campaign council.
He said, “We believe INEC and security agencies have taken note of the direct criminal affront of the law by Ize-Iyamu, who is plotting to import violence, unleash bloodletting and derail the state because he has been rejected by the people.”